Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lessons From Lawrence

You can’t spend any amount of time with Lawrence without it affecting you in some way. He is by far one of the most optimistic and positive people I’ve ever met. What we can all learn from Lawrence goes way beyond his almost endless supply of construction knowledge. Here’s a few lessons from yesterday.

1. Always look on the bright side. (Don’t go all Monty Python on me here.) But seriously, this guy never seems to get rattled by anything. If they could bottle whatever it is he has, no one would need Prozac, Xanax or any number of other anti-depressants. You just can’t get this guy down. When he called me accidentally Tuesday, one of the closing comments between us was me saying that I hoped we had a better day to work on Wednesday than today. (The first half of Tuesday was riddled with thundershowers.) Lawrence’s response: “Well, that just made the ground that much easier for us to dig into.”
2. Don’t slow down – for long. Lawrence isn’t big on breaks. Me, after 90 minutes in the sun, I’ve got to have some water and a sit-down in the shade. He acquiesced a little yesterday, but not much. In part, it was because his hand was hurting, though he wouldn’t admit it. And I couldn’t get him to quit. He is right though about stopping. If you take too long a break, it’s much too hard to get started again. Quoth Lawrence: “You can think of a thousand different reasons why you just don’t need to do it today.”
3. Measure thrice. Dig once. This is a twist on the old rule of cutting as it applies to fence post digging.
4. Just keep going. At 70, Lawrence is in awesome shape. He’s not a big guy. No bulging pecs or six-pack abs. But I would put him up against the average 40-year-old workman any day and bet that at the end of the day, Lawrence is the one still going.
5. Post-hole diggers need a new shape. Had to share this because it’s one of those observations by Lawrence that I think characterizes how he thinks. “You can’t put a six-inch square in a five-inch round.” Essentially, trying to put in one of today’s larger-sized vinyl fence posts into a hole dug with a standard post-hole digger is just that.

I’ve only known Lawrence a little over a year, but I have to say I think I’m a better person for it. And I know my house is a better place because of it.


Ty'sMommy said...

Based on your summary of Lawrence, I am pretty sure someone cloned my dad and sent him to you! They just don't make guys like them anymore and we should be that much more grateful to have them in our lives!
Bless him, Dad is coming to see me in August and BOY have we got a list of projects to work on - wait until you see my blog after that visit!

Anonymous said...

He truly sounds like a Godsend. My dad is calm and even tempered like that. He's a genius with cars, and everything really. It's the attitude of that generation (and their ancestors) that America is sorely going to miss.

NV said...

Aw, I'm sure you do, but I hope you ladies realize how lucky you are. We should all have such dads! :-)

Ann said...

Aw, I likez himz. You should bottlez himz. :)

SmilingJudy said...

I want a Lawrence! Sounds like an awesome person to be around.

NV said...

Ann -- He's a real trip. Wish I could tap into whatever enzyme it is that is behind that personality!

Judy -- If I could clone him, I'd send you one. He sure is. And he's exceptionally patient with me. I've learned a lot.

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